By Chuck Taylor

Here are some unusual classes that are available for your hard-earned tuition dollar that students are actually taking at various colleges across America this fall.

  • Oberlin College — How to Win a Beauty Pageant: Race, Gender, Culture, & U.S. National Identity“This course examines US beauty pageants from the 1920s to the present. Our aim will be to analyze pageantry as a unique site for the interplay of race, gender, class, sexuality, and nation. We will learn about cultural studies methodology, including close reading, cultural history, critical discourse analysis, and ethnography, and use those methods to understand the changing identity of the US over time. This course includes a field visit to a pageant in Ohio.”
  • Stanford University — Love as a Force for Social Justice“This course will explore the concept of agape love (compassion/kindness) as a force for social justice and action and as the inspiration for service and the application of knowledge to positive social change. Biological, psychological, religious, and social perspectives of love will be discussed, drawing on the expertise of people from a variety of disciplines.”
  • Brown University — Feminist Theory for a Heated Planet“The ecological crises – the “sixth extinction,” “global warming,” “the eruption of Gaia” – have forced many humans to challenge contingent boundaries drawn in more or less compelling ways in the Western world. Dualisms opposing nature to culture, the human and the nonhuman, the natural and the technological, the feminine and the masculine, seem more destabilized than ever. When geologists came up with a new epoch called the “Anthropocene,” feminist theory was well equipped to problematize this allegedly omnipotent “anthropos.” Reciprocally, queer, post-colonial, and feminist theories have re-thought the never so normative, hardly stable, greatly unknown, nature of nature.”
  • UC-Santa Barbara — Feminist Theories of Science and Feminist Scientists“Exploration of feminists analyses and critiques of science in social, historical, and political contexts. How does science construct gender? How and why are women excluded from scientific discourses and practices? How have women transformed science, and what is “feminist science?”
  • Princeton University — Trumpland“We will examine conspiracy theory, rural atomization, truth claims, and racial identity politics in light of ‘Trump-ist’ politics, and seek to chart its path forward in an increasingly destabilized political terrain,” [we] will introduce students to critical theory on race (especially whiteness), conspiracy, authoritarianism, and democracy. [We will also explore] America’s deindustrialization, white identity politics, nationalism, populism, and a new ‘post-truth’ relationship with the media.”

 

 

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